Eric Freeman

  • Jusuf Nurkic taunts with kindness, earns hilarious technical foul

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 20 hrs ago

    Denver Nuggets rookie big man Jusuf Nurkic has developed a reputation as a classic NBA tough guy in just a few short months. The 20-year-old Bosnian has impressed as an interior presence at both ends, but he also plays with a no-nonsense style more often found in crusty veterans. I suppose we should expect nothing less from a player who may have only been scouted in the first place because someone wanted to know if his father, a policeman who earned headlines for defeating 14 people in a fight, had any sons.

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    Nurkic was quickly handed a technical foul, which is not surprising given that he calmly placed the ball in the hands of the dude he had just dominated on the block. But this is normal taunt — it's hilarious because it's so nice, almost as if Nurkic is making a mockery of sportsmanship with dry wit.

    It is unlikely that Oscar Wilde ever played basketball, but I'm pretty sure this is how he would have talked trash.

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  • Minnesota Timberwolves re-introduce Kevin Garnett with tribute video

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 23 hrs ago

    The return of Kevin Garnett to the Minnesota Timberwolves has been one of the top stories in the NBA since his trade from the Brooklyn Nets last Thursday. With all the anticipation, the reintroduction of the best player in franchise history after an eight-year absence did not disappointment.

    The 38-year-old Garnett started the first game of his Wolves return on Wednesday night vs. the Washington Wizards at Target Center. The franchise went all out for his intro, pausing after the announcement of rookie Andrew Wiggins to show a highlight video of Garnett highlights from his first 12 seasons in Minnesota. Garnett was then announced to raucous applause from the fans.

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    Take a look at the scene here (via The Cauldron):

    Garnett returned in the second quarter and scored his first points on a free throw shortly thereafter. His first field goal came roughly a minute later on this jumper off a pass from Wiggins:

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  • Rajon Rondo suspended for shouting match with Mavs coach Rick Carlisle

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    When the Dallas Mavericks traded for enigmatic point guard Rajon Rondo in December, they must have known that they were getting a fairly difficult player to coach. Rondo is hard to figure out, performs his best when he has freedom to improvise, and can get ornery. The Mavs knew they were making a gamble in adding a stylistically unique player to the NBA's best offense (at the time), but they believed that the potential gains were worth it.

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    The final results of that decision won't be known until the postseason and when Rondo becomes when free agent this summer, but they experienced some of the bad that comes with his good in the third quarter of Tuesday night's home game against the Toronto Raptors. As the Mavericks headed back to the bench just a few minutes into the third quarter, head coach Rick Carlisle and Rondo began to engage in a shouting match. Take a look at the video:

    The Mavericks have suspended guard Rajon Rondo one game for “conduct detrimental to the team."

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  • Russell Westbrook continues MVP form with triple-double in OKC win

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    If you spend any time perusing NBA Twitter, you've probably seen a meme taken from Kevin Durant's MVP speech last spring in which his Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook stares at the trophy intently from his seat. The idea is that Westbrook is so competitive and focused that he can't help but lust after the NBA's most prestigious individual accolade even when the spotlight is on a friend. He's an obsessive.

    If Westbrook keeps up his current play, the joke might become reality in just a few months. As the Thunder look to hold onto and improve their playoff position with Durant hobbled, Westbrook has stepped into the role of primary superstar without issue and played at a level that has put him right next to Stephen Curry and James Harden among the league's top three MVP candidates. Always an All-Star but often a target for criticism, the electric Westbrook has transcended doubts about his game in recent weeks to reach another level of stardom.

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  • Derrick Rose to undergo surgery for torn medial meniscus in right knee

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Derrick Rose is set to undergo serious knee surgery for the third time in three years. The Chicago Bulls announced Tuesday nightthat the star point guard and 2011 MVP will undergo surgery to repair the medial meniscus in his right knee. A timetable has not been set. Rose told team officials of the pain at practice Tuesday and received an exam and MRI soon after.

    K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has tweeted that a source believes the damage is not as substantial as the meniscus tear that forced Rose to miss all but 10 games of the 2013-14 season, although details will not be known until after the surgery.

    Rose returned to action in 2014-15 and impressed with regularity in his 46 games prior to this announcement. While he had missed games intermittently due to various ailments, the 26-year-old Chicago native had appeared to be in reasonably good health and remained a key part of the Bulls' hopes of title contention.

    Many NBA players, including LeBron James, sent out thoughts and well wishes to Rose on social media and elsewhere:

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  • Ex-NBAer Orton cut from Philippines team after insulting Pacquiao

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Every culture has its untouchable sports heroes, those athletes who occupy such a revered place in the national consciousness that they may as well be folk heroes. In the United States, simply invoking the names of Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell, and Muhammad Ali requires genuflection and various other displays of respect.

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    Former NBA big man Daniel Orton found this out the hard way. The 24-year-old Orton, who played for three franchises from 2010 to 2014 before heading overseas, joined the Purefoods Star Hotshots of the PBA in early February as the team's single allowed foreign import player. After the Star Hotshots faced Pacquiao and the Carnival last week, Orton suggested that Pacquiao's roster spot might not have been earned. Now he's out of a job. From AFP:

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  • Kobe Bryant did not enjoy Lakers' silly celebration after win vs. Celtics

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    It has not been a very positive season for the Los Angeles Lakers, a team currently in possession of the fourth-worst record in the NBA at 14-41. The sorry state of the franchise does not stand out just because of their past record of consistent success, but because they seem to have so little going for them. Iconic superstar Kobe Bryant is out for the year (for the third straight season) with a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, rookie Julius Randle played all of 13 minutes before fracturing his tibia in his first game, and the rest of the roster doesn't really factor into many long-term plans. All of which is to say that the Lakers need to take joy where they can get it right now.

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  • Isaiah Thomas puts away Suns 4 days after trade to Celtics

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    It's safe to say that point guard Isaiah Thomas did not leave the Phoenix Suns under the best of circumstances. The deadline-day deal that sent him to the Boston Celtics came after much controversy and consternation involving Goran Dragic complaining that the addition of Thomas last offseason caused him not to trust the front office, which in turn made Thomas available in deals and essentially guaranteed his exit even when Dragic had already been moved to the Miami Heat. Thomas had reason to be unhappy happy that he was determined to be the most expendable of the Suns' three point guards (Eric Bledsoe is the only one who stayed), particularly after signing with Phoenix under very positive circumstances this summer.

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  • James Harden sends Ricky Rubio to the floor for a stepback 3

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    As the NBA's leading scorer, Houston Rockets star James Harden has made defenders look silly with some regularity this season. But few have looked quite as awkward as Ricky Rubio on one possession in the third quarter of Monday night's game between the Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves at the Toyota Center.

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    With the clock running down at the end of the period, Harden isolated Rubio and dropped him to one knee with a succession of dribbles moves. He then calmly stepped back and drained a three-pointer to add insult to injury. Take a look:

    The amazing thing here is that Harden doesn't even seem to be exerting himself especially strongly on the play. He's like one of those martial arts masters whose skill manifests itself in his economy of motion. There are no wasted movements on this play, and Rubio seems to be working so much harder than the guy he's guarding. Harden is in control throughout — he does only as much as necessary.

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  • Chris Bosh out for season with blood clots in lungs

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    Miami Heat All-Star Chris Bosh has been declared out for the rest of the NBA season with blood clots in his lungs. The Heat announced his status on Saturday. Bosh had complained of discomfort at All-Star Weekend in New York and was admitted to a Miami-area hospital on Thursday for a series of lung tests.

    OFFICIAL: The HEAT announced today that @ChrisBosh will miss the remainder of the season while being treated for blood clots on his lung.

    The Heat's official statement said Bosh is currently resting comfortably and that his prognosis is good. Head coach Erik Spoelstra had said earlier Friday that Bosh's condition was not life-threatening. The 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion received a number of well wishes from teammates, former teammates, and friends from around the league.

    Praying for you and your family @chrisbosh